Typical VLB SVGA card
|Predecessor||Video Graphics Array|
In the late 80s, after the release of IBM's VGA, third-party manufacturers began making graphics cards based on its specifications with extended capabilities. As these cards grew in popularity they began to be referred to as "Super VGA."
Super VGA cards broke compatibility with the IBM VGA standard, requiring software developers to provide specific display drivers and implementations for each card their software could operate on.
Initially the heavy restrictions this placed on software developers slowed the uptake of Super VGA cards, which motivated VESA to produce a unifying standard, the VESA BIOS Extensions, to provide a common software interface to all cards implementing the VBE specification.
The VBE standardized resolutions of 800×600, 1024x768 and 1280x1024 with 4- and 8-bit color depths. Eventually graphics adapters under the Super VGA umbrella would support an innumerable quantity of modes.
SVGA uses a VGA connector, the same DE-15 as the original standard, and otherwise operates over the same cabling and interfaces as VGA.
Some early SuperVGA manufacturers (in parentheses, some of their models, where available) were:
- Ahead Technologies Not related with Nero AG (formerly Ahead Software)
- Amdek (VGA ADAPTER/132)
- AST Research, Inc. (VGA Plus (rebranded Paradise))
- ATI Technologies (VIP (82C451 (1987)), VGA Wonder)
- Chips and Technologies (82C451 (1987))
- Cirrus Logic (CL-GD410/420 (1987))
- Compaq (VGC Board)
- Genoa Systems (Genoa VGA 5100-5400 (ET3000))
- Orchid Technology (Designer VGA (ET3000), Pro Designer Plus)
- Western Digital's Paradise Inc. (VGA Plus (PVGA1 (1987)),VGA Plus 16, VGA Pro)
- Sigma Designs (SigmaVGA (ET3000))
- STB Systems (VGA Extra/EM (ET3000 (1987))) V-RAM VGA (1988))
- Willow (VGA-TV/Publisher's, VGA-TV + Genlock)
- Trident Microsystems (TVGA8800, TVGA8900, and TVGA9000 series)
- Inc, InfoWorld Media Group (1990-07-16). InfoWorld. InfoWorld Media Group, Inc.
- "Projector Guide - Resolution | Epson US". epson.com. Retrieved 2020-08-17.
- Inc, Ziff Davis (1988-08-01). PC Mag. Ziff Davis, Inc.
- VBE CORE FUNCTIONS VERSION 3.0 (PDF). VESA. 1994. p. 3.
- "SUPER VGA BIOS EXTENSION Standard # VS891001 › Gemixtes". web.archive.org. 2013-12-11. Retrieved 2020-08-17.
- Unknown ATI 8-bit videocard, Google Groups
- Need info on old Video Seven VGA card, Google Groups
- VGA, or what to do with my tax return!, Google Groups
- VGA monitor and adapter choices, Google Groups
- IBM's EGA and VGA, Google Groups